Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Pro Wrestling--- With the off-camera relationship between Adam Copeland (Edge) and Amy Dumas (Lita) now being turned into an on-air storyline by WWE, it's worth taking a look at the corresponding real-life situation that caused an innocent person to be fired from his job at WWE for no good reason.
The storyline that WWE is now presenting on the air is that Lita was cheating on her storyline husband, Kane, and has now left Kane to be with Edge. Dumas and Copeland are being paired up together in on-air storylines, months after they decided to pair up together behind the scenes.
Fellow WWE wrestler Matt Hardy and Amy Dumas had been a real-life couple for years, while Adam Copeland had been a close friend of both Hardy and Dumas for years. Copeland was also just married, for the second time, last October to a woman named Lisa. By all accounts, Matt Hardy had previously remained faithful to Amy Dumas when she was off the road for 18 months with a neck injury.
With Matt Hardy out of action, off WWE TV, and off the road for several months due to surgery for a torn ACL in his knee, Amy Dumas and Adam Copeland apparently began having an affair at some point, meaning that Copeland was cheating on his new bride and Dumas was cheating on her long-time loyal boyfriend. When initially confronted by Lisa Copeland, who has never been involved in the pro wrestling business other than marrying a wrestler, Adam Copeland denied the affair, as did Amy Dumas when confronted by Matt Hardy. Nothing was admitted until Adam Copeland and Amy Dumas, aka Edge and Lita, were caught red-handed with voice-mails and messages that they had sent one another.
The previous paragraph is the basic story about the situation that leaked out on the Internet via friends of the people involved, and was later confirmed by Hardy himself in a post on his official web site. Given that Hardy is not on good terms with Copeland or Dumas for obvious reasons, the solution to this problem should have been very simple for WWE management: Move Hardy to the Smackdown roster so that he doesn't have to work with, interact with, or even see Copeland or Dumas, who are on the Raw roster.
Instead, WWE chose the option that made the least sense, not to mention being morally reprehensible. Feeling that Copeland is a bigger star than Hardy, and feeling that Hardy should not have talked about or confirmed any real life, behind-the-scenes activity on the Internet, WWE released Matt Hardy. That's right... Matt Hardy was fired for being cheated on. Hardy's release included a no-compete clause, and you can expect him to show up in TNA, Ring of Honor, and other pro wrestling promotions when his no-compete clause expires in July.
As you might imagine, the outrage within the pro wrestling community has been overwhelmingly negative towards Adam Copeland and Amy Dumas. If there's one code of honor among pro wrestlers, it's that you don't sleep with another wrestler's girlfriend, fiance, or wife. The fact that Copeland and Dumas had an affair while Hardy was off TV recovering from an injury caused the majority of the WWE locker room to be upset, and that sentiment turned to outrage when Hardy was inexplicably fired.
There have been a lot of people who have written a lot of things about the Hardy-Dumas-Copeland situation, but perhaps none were more poignant than the following letter to the editor that was published by the Wrestling Observer. The name of the letter's author was withheld by request, but it was confirmed by Observer editor Dave Meltzer to be an active wrestler, and it's believed that the wrestler works for NWA-TNA. Here's what the letter said (notes in brackets have been added by me for clarification purposes as needed)...
"I've been involved in the world of professional wrestling for almost twelve years now. I've seen things and heard stories that have made my eyes pop out of my head. Today, I was overwhelmed with disgust after reading the headline of the day - Matt Hardy released from WWE, most likely due to his personal situation with Amy Dumas and Adam Copeland, and I couldn't help but write a letter for the first time. This one topped Andrew Martin's release just after surgery [Andrew "Test" Martin was released by WWE shortly after he had major spinal surgery to correct an injury that was suffered on the job]. I have several friends that work for WWE, so I am choosing to remain anonymous.
What did Matt Hardy do for this release? Sacrifice his body for the fans' entertainment? Remain over with fans even though the "writers" buried his character most of the time? No. Matt Hardy, the human being, spoke about a personal situation going on in his life. Not unlike anything you read about in celebrity-type magazines or television shows. The love he remained faithful to when she hurt her neck didn't return the favor and she betrayed him with one of his best friends. His other true love, the wrestling business, was something he couldn't be a part of due to an injury.
One can imagine the hell he must have gone through being laid up and finding out about this betrayal. He's a HUMAN BEING. I guess when you sign a contract with WWE, you lose that right. You seem lose the right to have independent thought, even though you're an "independent contractor," wink wink. You lose the right to voice your opinion once you're on the payroll, being paid one of the smallest percentages off the gross of any form of entertainment in the country.
There are two sides to every story, or maybe three in this story. Wrestling does funny things to people. Maybe Matt wasn't nice to Lita. Maybe Edge took up an interest in stray dogs and they fell in love. Maybe she's just a slut, who knows? But if WWE is going to take action against Matt Hardy, maybe they should take a closer look at the "action" that led to his internet writings. Then again, after some of the tales of the McMahon's infamous romps, what do you expect? [Vince McMahon has admitted in the past to cheating on his wife dozens of times.]
That's just the personal side. From a business standpoint, WWE makes yet another foolish move. They released multiple quality talents over the course of a few days at a time when their weekly television shows remain boring, predictable, and repetitive. They need as many fresh faces as they can get or their problems will just get worse. No matter what WWE's "writers" chose to do with Matt Hardy, he remained popular. He just as easily could have been sent to Smackdown and work a program to get a good match out of John Cena.
It wouldn't make sense storyline-wise, but what would he have gone back to on Raw? Kane, the guy who on WWE TV has tombstoned Linda McMahon, buried his brother alive, sold for Shane-o Mac, raped Lita, and caused Matt's injury in the storyline is now a babyface hero again in the storyline. If they wanted to be creative, they could have injected Rhyno into the Lita-Kane storyline in Matt Hardy's absence. It would have given a storyline to a guy that had a chance to get over with a decent, consistent push, and the matches would have been a lot better than the Kane-Snitsky classics. I guess looking at the forty pounds of back acne and not knowing how to sell is supposed to be entertaining.
Rhyno was wasted in that company right off the bat. Stories say he's having a tough time right now, between a bitter divorce, thoughts of his young daughter moving to another country, and having a group of people that know nothing about professional wrestling ruin his career. That's enough to get to anyone, but it's multiplied in a wrestling environment. Would anyone be surprised to hear stories that someone in the same situation as Rhyno became a heavy drug addict as a result of this? He made a fool out of himself with the incident at the post-show WrestleMania party, but why not get the man some help instead of tossing him out of a job like trash?
More good talent has been released that will be replaced by cheaper, greener versions that aren't ready for the spot yet. More faceless, nameless divas will come in to pop the teenage demo. To hell with morals or employee morale. To hell with caring about human beings' real life situations.
Let the boys have no consequences for what they do on the road. Let one of our top superstars sexually harass every diva on the roster and run a few out of the company [this is a reference to Randy Orton's behavior behind the scenes]. This was a company that let ring boy molestation run wild long before Hulkamania [this is a reference to the "TitanGate" scandals of the early 90's]. Who cares about health when you can get up and get down and make the next shot? If you don't look Hollywood enough, take a "subtle" hint and get on the sauce. It's entertainment! Don't you "Get It?" Yeah, just don't talk about it on the Internet.
It's days like this when I question how I can even be involved with a business that has such little class. And to show just how odd of a business this is, I'd take a job with WWE in a second if I was offered one..."